By Anu Passary | Sep 26, 2012 12:24 PM EDT
Barnes & Noble, the largest bookstore chain in the U.S., rolled out two tablets: NOOK HD and NOOK HD+, in New York on Sept. 25.
The 9-inch NOOK HD+ is Barnes & Noble's attempt to compete with formidable rivals like Apple (iPad) and Amazon (8.9 inch Kindle Fire HD).
"We are playing in the tablet space, but reading is at our core," said Barnes & Noble Chief Executive William Lynch in an interview to Reuters.
We're growing the digital content portion of the business, and that's where we envision making our economics," he added.
Here's a look at the NOOK HD+ tablet's features.
The NOOK HD+ measures 9.46 x 6.41 x 0.45 inches. At 18.2 ounces, the tablet weighs considerably less than its rivals: 20 ounces and 23 ounces of the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD and the new iPad, respectively.
Processor and OS
A dual-core OMAP 4470 processor clocked at 1.5GHz powers the NOOK HD+ tablet. This processor is identical to the one Amazon offers on its 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD. The NOOK HD+ tablet will run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box.
Display and Resolution
The NOOK HD+ sports a 9-inch HD display with 1,920 x 1,280 pixels resolution at 256 ppi. The NOOK's resolution is better than the 1,920 x 1200 pixels resolution at 254 ppi, which the Kindle Fire HD offers. However, the tablet pales when compared to iPad's 2,048 x 1,536 pixels resolution at 264 ppi. All three tablets support HD video playback at 1080p.
"Packed with pixels and boasting playback up to 1080p, watching video is better than ever on NOOK. Books, magazines, and apps look ultra-crisp from every angle," states the official Web site.
The NOOK HD+ does not come with a camera, as the company feels that most people who own a tablet will have a smartphone, which usually packs in a better camera.
Memory and Storage
The NOOK HD+ has 1GB of RAM and will be available in 16/32GB variants. The new offering from Barnes & Noble also has a microSD card memory option, which expands memory up to 32GB.
The tablet's rechargeable battery offers up to 9 hours of video streaming and 10 hours of reading.
Pricing, Colors, and Availability
The 16GB and 32GB models of the tablet will set users back by $269 and $299, respectively. The tablet is available in "Slate".
The tablet is expected to start shipping by October end in time for the holiday season. The NOOK HD+ is currently available for pre-order on barnesandnoble.com.
Barnes & Noble's latest tablet offerings will also be sold from its over 700 stores, as well as retailers like Best Buy, Target, and Wal-Mart. Considering that both Target and Wal-Mart will no longer carry Amazon's Kindles, the NOOK has an edge over its arch rival.
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